To get the best results from your Botox treatments, it’s essential that you follow the proper aftercare protocols. One being that you avoid exercise after Botox. While exercise has a multitude of benefits, it can also delay recovery. That’s why we advise holding off. But if you’re desperate to workout after Botox, you may be wondering when you can get back in the gym. We’re going to answer all of these questions and more!
Before we get into the topic of exercise and Botox, let’s start with a few definitions. According to the 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, Botulinum toxin injections, aka Botox, are the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic treatment. Here at Sisu Clinic, we’d have to agree. It’s the most effective treatment you can get for anti-aging, requires zero downtime, and results are long-lasting.
But what is it? Botox is a neuromodulator that is injected into certain muscles to temporarily reduce or eliminate movement. Botox is a brand name, but other neuromodulators include BOTOX®, Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®, all working in a similar way.
The most common use of Botox is to delay or reduce signs of aging. It does so by minimizing and preventing the wrinkles and skin folds formed by excess movement of these muscles. We often inject into the forehead and around the eyes, two areas of the face prone to signs of aging because they are constantly used for facial expressions.
But like any cosmetic treatment, the best results come when you follow pre and post-care practices. For example, avoiding workouts after Botox.
You’re often told to workout more, so why should you avoid exercise after Botox?
When you start exercising, a few physiological changes occur: as your body starts moving, your heart rate increases to send nutrient-rich blood to your working muscles. This is great for your body and brain; the increased blood flow sends oxygen and other key nutrients throughout the body to improve organ function and circulation.
However, when it comes to your Botox injections, it’s not helpful. Increased blood flow could possibly cause the Botox to spread from the initial injection site. This could reduce the efficacy of the treatment, or perhaps even temporarily paralyze surrounding muscles. Increased blood flow can also cause swelling in the injection area, which will delay your results.
As well as this, during certain types of exercise you may put pressure on the injection site. For example, during yoga or Pilates you might find yourself lying on your side or resting your hands on your face. It’s best to avoid these types of exercise after Botox. Applying pressure to the treated area may cause it to migrate. That’s why we recommend avoiding touching the injection site for at least six to eight hours after treatment.
With an increased heart and breathing rate, your core temperature rises. That’s why you start to sweat, it’s part of your body’s internal thermoregulation system. When you get hot during exercise, it can increase the risk of bruising and swelling after Botox. That’s why we also advise against going in hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, or laying out in the sun.
There are some myths surrounding exercise and Botox. For example, that you shouldn’t move your face after treatment. This has led some people to correlate facial straining during exercise to poor outcomes. During strenuous exercise you may strain your face or perform a lot of facial movement. Some believe that this increases the chances of the Botox spreading, which will reduce its effectiveness. However, this is not scientifically backed.
A study published in 2019 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology examined the outcomes of facial exercise after Botox. The researchers wanted to see whether exercising the treated muscles during the first four hours after Botox would enhance cellular uptake and give quicker results.
The participants were separated into two groups and both given forehead and glabella (the 11 lines) Botox injections. One group performed facial exercises - forehead raises, scowls, and knitting of the brows after Botox, and the other avoided facial contractions for four hours. The researchers found that those who performed facial exercises after Botox had visible results sooner, detectable as early as day three post-treatment. Typically Botox takes around a week to kick in, so these results were notable.
So should you perform facial exercises after Botox? It’s best to speak to your Sisu provider during your treatment to get individualized post-care advice.
The general guideline is to avoid exercise for the first 24 hours after Botox treatment. But this depends on the intensity of exercise. If you’re desperate to get back to your regular workouts, here’s when you can exercise after Botox:
Occasionally, patients forget to implement their aftercare protocols and find themselves lying down after Botox, running after Botox, or sweating; all things that we advise against for best results. Luckily, you will most likely be fine. You may experience increased swelling or bruising, so apply ice and arnica cream.
Here are some more Botox aftercare tips to avoid swelling and bruising.
If you do accidentally exercise too soon after Botox, contact your provider for personalized advice.
We recommend remaining upright for the first four hours after treatment to let the Botox settle. When you go upside down, blood also rushes to your face. As mentioned above, increased blood circulation to your face can increase swelling and bruising, and increase your risk of Botox migration from the injection site.
However if you do bend over after Botox to pick something off the ground - you’ll be totally fine. This will not interfere with your results as the position was not held for long enough to cause migration. Any exercise that involves continuous bending over or lying down should be avoided after Botox for at least 24 hours.
Ever wondered whether exercise makes your Botox wear off more quickly? The answer is, it can! We all metabolize things differently; that’s the speed at which you break down things in your body.
For example, some people metabolize food very quickly so they rarely gain weight and are hungry sooner after a meal. Whilst other people have a slower metabolism and gain weight easily. It’s the same for Botox! If you have an intense and frequent exercise routine, you’re more likely to metabolize Botox quicker than someone who leads a less active life.
But maintaining a regular exercise routine is vital for your health and wellbeing. So don’t base this on your Botox! In general, you can expect your Botox to last around three to four months, regardless of how much you exercise. If you exercise frequently at a high intensity, your Botox results may be on the shorter end of this time scale.
If you are worried that your Botox has worn off too quickly, speak with your Sisu provider to get advice on how frequently you should schedule your appointments to maintain your results.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine is essential. But on the day you get your Botox, give yourself a break! This will ensure you have the smoothest and fastest recovery possible, and get the best results.